ACT expected to ban battery cages and sow stalls


The ACT is expected to pass a vote today that will see an end to certain factory farming practices.

The new legislation which was introduced by Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury last year, will ban the use of battery cages for hens along with de-beaking practices, and will also prohibit the use of sow stalls and farrowing crates for pigs.

Rattenbury says that the move to prohibit such practices has largely been driven by a consumer push for higher animal welfare standards and that fines of up to $35,000 will be payable for any breach of the new laws.

"This is an important reform to protect the welfare of farmed animals and will set the precedent for other states and territories to do the same," Rattenbury told Yahoo 7.

"Some of the practices outlawed under this legislation are simply cruel and inhumane and don't have any place in modern food production in Australia."

The move has also been welcomed by animal welfare group, Animals Australia.

Communications director for the group, Lisa Chalk said that the passing of the vote will be a ‘landmark decision’.

"Animals Australia really applauds the ACT government's landmark decision to prohibit what are some of the cruellest farming practices," she said.

"These are practices which see millions of animals around Australia severely confined."

Although the legislation will see an end to such practices in the Territory, NSW Farmers Egg Committee spokesman Bede Burke said that many ACT farmers have already, or are in the process of moving to non-cage systems. He also said that the legislation will not prohibit the sale of caged eggs produced in other Australian states in ACT supermarkets.